Last week I highlighted some of the 2011 megatrends presented at the HID Global strategy briefing at this year’s ASIS show.
One of the major trends was the movement to virtualized credentials, where a credential is now being defined as the identity of an individual versus simply as the access card itself. During the briefing, Dr. Selva Selvaratnam, senior vice president and chief technology officer with HID Global said “We often confuse ‘identity’ with the technology or the card that carries it, but the identity can be taken away from the card”. This new way of viewing credentials/identity marks a tipping point in the access control industry, where the use of virtualized credentials requires us to think differently about the fundamental delivery of secure identity solutions and management of those identities.
For example, in a new, virtualized credential model, users are enabled to carry their credential on a number of form factors, such as a mobile phone, a USB stick and other media - instead the credential being limited to just a card. This creates a higher level of convenience and flexibility for the user, along with the question of how authentication is managed to ensure a trusted identity using this model.
To answer this question, Selva first highlighted the three forms of authentication typically used today:
• Who you are - simply recognizing someone (or biometrics ID and role-based authentication)
• What you have - a badge, a card or a key that permits access
• What you know - a PIN number to open a door, or a username/password for computer access
Selva also introduced ‘where you are’ as an emerging fourth dimension in authentication. “New credentials like mobile phones will be able to transmit back securely where you are,” said Selva. “If the phone becomes the carrier of the identity and supports GPS, then there are greater possibilities for granting high-security levels of access based on location”.
While the concept of virtualized credentials introduces a new layer of authentication, it raises even more questions around trusted identity and interoperability. For instance, if a user’s identity resides on a mobile phone, how can you be sure that device is trusted and secure? Or if a user loses a USB stick that houses his/her identity, how do you end-of-life that device while not affecting that user’s identity/credential on their mobile phone?
HID’s Trusted Identity Platform (TIP) addresses these issues. TIP is an HID Global innovation that is a framework for creating, delivering and managing secure identities in a virtualized credential environment. In simple terms, TIP is a central, secure vault that serves known endpoints, such as credentials, readers and printers, in a bounded-type system, where all the devices attached to it are known and therefore trusted to exchange information securely.
Watch Selva’s ASIS strategy briefing video to learn more about TIP and other upcoming HID Global products and technology discussed during the strategy briefing.
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